Chicago’s Daily Herald is joining several other papers scattered across the country, following the lead of the New York Times and throwing up a paywall for non-subscribers who wish to access their content on the web.
Although the newspaper paywall model has been tested by the Times, the Daily Herald is the first paper in the region to implement the practice. Current subscribers to the physical copy will be able to access the newspaper’s website for an additional $1 a week, and digital-only subscribers will be dinged $19.95 per month to view the paper’s web content.
Douglas K. Ray, CEO and Publisher and Chairman of Daily Herald parent company Paddock Publications, explained the move to the paper’s employees in a memo, saying that the move was necessary to continue to produce quality content:
“Why is it necessary to charge for digital access? We invest significantly in reporters and editors and an infrastructure that provides tailored coverage of local news, suburban business developments, politics and entertainment as well as sports from the pro levels to preps.”
“We believe that what we do has value to our readers and to the community. A new payment structure will enable us to continue to provide the kind of quality local news and the journalism expected from the Daily Herald.”
The paywall model has met mixed feedback since the Times announced the move earlier this year and several smaller papers followed suit. In addition to the charge for content, the paper will be launching an iPad app as well as apps for the iPhone and Android. The new access model will go into effect on September 7th.